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I could not believe it when I read it. Hillary Clinton’s campaign is trying to suppress the labor vote in Nevada’s upcoming caucuses. I despised her before I read this. Now she just plain disgusts me.
As detailed today in The Nation and on Alternet, the lawsuit filed by Clinton allies in Nevada against planned “at-large” caucusing Jan. 19 on the Las Vegas Strip is beginning to look a lot like voter suppression.
Last March, the plan to open nine at-large caucus precincts at casinos along the Las Vegas Strip was drawn up and approved unanimously by the Nevada Democratic Party leadership, with input from the presidential campaigns, to enable caucusing by Strip workers unable to leave work to caucus in their home precincts.
Indeed the plan’s creators include several of those who are now plaintiffs against it. What changed their minds?
Barack Obama’s endorsement Jan.9 by the 60,000-member Las Vegas Culinary Workers’ Union changed their minds.
When the plan was approved, Hillary Clinton was presumed to be the “inevitable” Democratic frontrunner. Iowa changed all that, and Obama’s subsequent endorsement by the powerful culinary workers’ union has brought a Clinton win in Nevada into serious question.
Since it is largely members of this union and therefore largely Obama supporters who would be caucusing in the casinos, the plan is no longer in Clinton’s best interests. Hence the lawsuit against the plan, filed just two days after the Obama endorsement and scarcely a week before the caucus by Clinton allies from the leadership of the Nevada State Education Association (NSEA), on the grounds that it would be unfair to workers in other areas.
Why didn’t they think it was unfair earlier? After all, the plan was approved nearly a year ago in the very name of fairness, to enable participation by those who would otherwise be unable to caucus. The answer is simple: Because the lawsuit has nothing whatsoever to do with fairness, and everything to do with stacking the deck in favor of Hillary Clinton.
The Clintons themselves are not official parties to the suit, but both Hillary and Bill Clinton have spoken in support of it despite the fact that their campaign and others were included in the at-large caucus plan from its inception. They, like their friends in the NSEA, have had more than ample time to consider and reconsider the plan, but appear to have deemed it unfair only since the culinary workers endorsed Obama.
While the judge in this case obviously has every reason in the world to throw it out of court, I don’t expect that even if it prevails the culinary workers will allow it to prevent their members’ caucusing. In fact I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see chartered buses from the union shuttling members between the Strip and their home precincts to caucus, a lot of pressure on Strip employers to comply, and a lot of anger at the Clintons and their allies for this seedy attempt to change the rules at the last minute.
The whole affair seems likely indeed to do the Clintons far more harm than good in Nevada; and as we know, what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas.
There is one more consideration to ponder. Just who are the members of the Culinary Union? A lot of them are Latinos. The same Hillary that is pandering to the Latino vote by eating tacos in Los Angeles is trying to keep Latino voters from participating in the Nevada caucuses. Amazing. Simply amazing. I cannot see how this is going to work out well for Hillary.